Bloody Sox

Red Sox Rants — and other random opinions about sports

A Texas catch?

There is a lot of chatter about the Sox pursuing one of the Texas Rangers’ excess catchers. While this makes some sense, I also know that Theo Epstein rarely does what is expected. If I were to make a wager, it would be that he resigns Jason Varitek, and that ‘tek and Kevin Cash remain the Sox catching tandem in ’09. Here are my reasons for this belief:

  1. Despite Scott Boras’ pipe dreams, no one is going to give Varitek $50 million for four years. The Sox will offer $12 million per for two years and Varitek will take it.
  2. The Rangers are going to ask for more than Theo is willing to give for Saltalamacchia or Laird.
  3. Theo likes to use a little mis-direction in these matters, so the rumors about Texas can be useful in other negotiations.

This isn’t to say that if the Rangers are a bit more reasonable in their demands Theo will not take advantage… he is, more than anything, an opportunist. I also believe that it is very likely Varitek will have a better offensive year in ’09 than he just did. This year he suffered two debilitating illnesses, from which, I believe, he never fully regained his strength. And then add in the distraction of his messy divorce. It’s easy to imagine that Jason will be stronger and in a better frame of mind next season. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not predicting 30 home runs and a .300 batting average, but I’d be willing to bet he can put up 20 homers and a .260 average wherever he plays next year.

We’ll just have to wait and see if that is in Boston or some other city.


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